While I was growing up in  Jabavu, it was during the apartheid regime. Women were brewing African beer so that they could earn a living.  They were also cooking mahewu (porridge mixed with flavourants). The Boers would come and spill everything, including the hot porridge that the women used to prepare African beer.  The Boers would go inside the shops, take cigarettes and meat and not pay for it. Women who were coming to Cape Town to see their husbands were being arrested for being there as no women were allowed to come to or stay in Cape Town.

As I was born in Cape Town, the situation of these women, who would come to see their husbands, was hurting me. After seeing what was happening, I decided to join a union or a party that fights for peoples rights all over South Africa. We had a term that we were using when these Boers were coming. We would say “It’s red” and then you would know that you had to go and hide yourself. The worst thing that would happen is seeing a black police man beating us. They would also beat up the pregnant women.

During 1960 we used to be arrested for Dom-pass (permit to reside in a city or a particular area). Now I am happy because now it’s the time for equal rights under the government . There are a lot of things that have changed. All races use green ID (Identity Document) books, even our oppressors. We are one now  in the new democracy  with our children.. A day that I will never forget was when I got democracy – freedom.

Amazwi Abesifazane [Voices of Women] is a project of Create Africa South (CAS), a nongovernmental organization that commits itself to exploring and expressing the relationship between society and creativity.  It was established in 2000 to preserve and develop creativity in South Africa, dedicated to originate, consult with, and assist cultural discussions within Africa.  CAS addresses the holistic creative interface of people with society.  The concept of Ubuntu (defined as human-heartedness, generosity, compassion, especially in African value-systems) forms the basis of this organisation, which endeavours to establish, transform, transcend boundaries and seeks meaningful creative engagement in new areas of cultural discourse.